For some reason, people tend to believe rumours they see on the Internet, which they would laugh at if heard in the pub. Any lone crank can set up a professional looking website and present wild speculation as serious investigative journalism. An industry has sprung up promoting paranoid fantasies that link any number of historical events together into a giant conspiracy theory. Alex Jones, David Icke, and their ilk would have us believe all our pet hate figures belong to sinister secret organisations, which control our destiny. Our institutions are run either by devil worshippers, paedophiles or blood-drinking lizards from outer space, and they get away with all this right under our noses thanks to their ancient cosmic network.
Now, we know all our leaders are bent, but they’re really not that clever.
I contend that the ‘new world order’ is no more than the historical tendency of capitalist accumulation; the only global conspiracy is the common interest of the bourgeoisie, being those who invest not in their own labour but in other people’s, and increasingly today, do so indirectly, by speculating on the fortunes of other capitalists and even governments.
That’s it: no Illuminati, no satanic brotherhood, no aliens, no talking porpoises from Atlantis.
The present agenda of the bourgeoisie is to stabilise the globalisation of capital, the final phase of its evolution,
The effect of capitalist accumulation is to concentrate wealth in ever fewer hands. These global organisations have enough economic power to influence governments, who no longer serve their electors but their investors. The function of governments today is to balance the irresistible tendency of capital to accumulate with the need to maintain civil society, the warm, humid conditions in which capitalism can thrive.
Writing in the mid 19th century Marx described the growing industrialisation and beginnings of mass production as ‘the alienation of labour from the means of production’ – man serving machine, rather than the other way round. He considered that capitalism was effectively engaged in collectivising labour, thereby creating the means for its overthrow.
Capitalists are a lot more cunning these days; and seek to mitigate these effects; mass unemployment, starvation, unrest and lawlessness are not good for business. So liberal democracy was born, their finely tuned social control is often referred to as ‘cohesion’. They want you to be free, but only to buy their products and services, work in their factories/offices, and pay taxes to maintain the infrastructure they inhabit. Any other freedoms would be counter-productive and are frowned upon; they can easily be discouraged through the media, and the offices of the tame politicians.
And yes, the logical conclusion is one player left; one can imagine a single global corporation effectively controlling the means of production, distribution and exchange, by whom everyone is employed, and whose products everyone consumes, by default. This is not the result of some grand design but of a simple economic mechanism. There is no need to involve aliens, the occult, or secret societies.
So what is the agenda of the conspiracy theorists, beyond selling paperbacks? They present all this bollocks in different styles to appeal to every anti establishment taste; the new age hippie, the conservative xenophobe and the post-apocalyptic survivalist. The prejudices of the far right are in there; anti-Semitism, denial of climate change, opposition to abortion and free healthcare. And whilst all resent the influence of bankers and financial cartels, they mostly advocate unregulated capitalism, which would quickly result in power being concentrated in equally unaccountable hands.
Let’s not waste our time chasing shadows, when our enemy is staring us in the face, that’s exactly what they would want us to do.